the doctor

vladv

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
Could you please explain the use of "the". I would use "a"
She had a capacious memory, and many years later was to be a principal source for St. Luke, the Greek-speaking doctor whose Gospel deals most fully with Jesus’s birth and childhood.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The suggests that there is only one Greek-speaking doctor whose Gospel deals most fully with Jesus's birth and childhood. I am certainly no expert on the Bible, but that sounds right to me. A Greek-speaking doctor isn't wrong, but it doesn't do as good job of implying that there was only one Greek-speaking doctor who wrote a Gospel.
     

    vladv

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    The suggests that there is only one Greek-speaking doctor whose Gospel deals most fully with Jesus's birth and childhood. I am certainly no expert on the Bible, but that sounds right to me. A Greek-speaking doctor isn't wrong, but it doesn't do as good job of implying that there was only one Greek-speaking doctor who wrote a Gospel.
    Thanks
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    Here "the" is correct. The phrase after "the" is adding information about the single person Saint Luke.

    Using "a" here would mean "there are multiple people that fit this description, and Saint Luke is one of them".

    (cross-posted)
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To me it also acknowledges that St. Luke is a well known public figure who doesn't need much introduction. A lesser known figure would probably be described with a.

    "He was also influenced by St. Sebastian of Cirdinea, a first century monk who wrote the "Tales of Jesus". No copy of the book now exists and he is largely forgotten."
     

    abluter

    Senior Member
    British English
    It would be OK if you wrote " . . . St Luke, a Greek-speaking doctor, whose Gospel deals etc"
     
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